Continuing from our last blog, this is part 2 of the Hunnaball Family Funeral Group story… so far.

Growth into new communities

As the new millennium began, the Hunnaball Family Funeral Group looked very different than it had in the early 1980s. But its culture remained at the very heart of the business as the company expanded across Essex and Suffolk.

2004 saw both Hunnaball of Sudbury and Janet C Davies of Braintree open their doors. Both branches have become firmly established in their communities, exemplifying the professionalism and compassion of the Hunnaball Family Funeral Group. Janet in particular continued the ‘Ladies in Hats’ brand… and, following Janet’s retirement, the branches in Braintree and Kelvedon continue as ‘Lady Funeral Directors’.

Ladies in Hats.
Ladies in Hats.

In 2006, Janet C Davies opened an additional branch in Kelvedon and Hunnaball of Witham was established, and in 2012 Hunnaball of Chelmsford opened its doors, followed in 2016 by a second branch of Hunnaball of Ipswich in Spring Road. Hunnaball of Stanway, which serves the growing community of West Colchester, was opened in 2019.

Janet C Davies of Kelvedon (opened 2006)
janet c davies kelvedon funeral directors

At every stage, the Hunnaball Family Funeral Group has sought to serve the communities where branches are located with excellence and compassion, and our staff teams do wonderful work supporting people all over Essex and Suffolk.

Excellent support

The branch network is supported by a well-established and efficient team.

The Gate House, in Colchester, is our Group Support Centre comprising the largest private mortuary facility in Essex and Suffolk, a coffin workshop, garage, Chapel of Rest, and a memorial showroom. At Grange Way, also in Colchester, our training and development centre was opened in 2018. Hunnaball Memorials is based in Ardleigh and supports all of our branches; skilfully crafting, installing, and refurbishing memorials for burials and cremations all over both counties. And Lexden Garden of Rest is a peaceful columbarium on the edge of Colchester.

Trevor’s passion for cars and transport means that the Hunnaball Family Funeral Group have used an incredibly diverse array of vehicles for funerals; from motorbikes to lorries, Suffolk drays, horse drawn carriages, and vintage hearses. But most recognisable is the silver livery which identifies all of the Hunnaball fleet, especially our beautiful Mercedes hearses and limousines.

Our silver fleet is instantly recognisable.
Our silver fleet is instantly recognisable.

Facing every challenge

Over the years there have been many challenges in our work as funeral directors, but none were greater than the COVID pandemic. Every operation in the business had to adapt to a new normal. The arrangers in each branch had to socially distance or work online, limousines were modified, and cleaned after every service, and so much more.

But the greatest challenges were felt by our incredible First Response Team, based at the Gate House, who had to carry out their work in the face of an unknown threat in full PPE. Our often-unsung heroes managed to carry out their tasks with the same dignity and respect as before. During the pandemic we were unbelievably proud of every single one of our Hunnaball work family.

Celebrations and acknowledgement

In 2022, Trevor Hunnaball, who continues to be chairman of the Hunnaball Family Funeral Group, celebrated 65 years working in the funeral industry. And in 2023, he was rightly honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award, to mark his significant contribution to the funeral industry over an exemplary career.

So, 2023 marks the 40th anniversary of the Hunnaball Family Funeral Group; forty years which are characterised by professionalism, compassion, innovation, and hard work. We look back on all of our work and achievements with pride, and are struck by the realisation that there is such a lot to celebrate. Perhaps more importantly, we look forward to all that is to come.

Trevor and Melanie Hunnaball (c 2016)
Trevor and Melanie Hunnaball (c 2016)

The future…

What is to come? More professionalism, compassion, innovation, and certainly more hard work, by three generations of the Hunnaball family and the many valued members of the Hunnaball work family. The future is very bright and we are more enthused than ever to make a positive, life enriching difference in the work we do.

Our Vision

  • To be outstanding in all aspects of the services we provide.
  • To be a centre of excellence for learning and development.
  • To be innovators and leaders in our profession.
  • To create, develop and encourage our people to fulfil their potential.
  • To retain and enhance our reputation as the premier family funeral service in the region.